NSSF holding Sh764m from ‘ghost’ contributors

Auditor-General Edward Ouko. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Auditor-General Edward Ouko. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) is holding Sh764 million from unidentified contributors, putting a section of workers at risk of missing out on pension pay upon retirement.

The State-run pension scheme was holding the cash in a suspense account as at June 2016, which is in breach of Kenya’s pension rules requiring all schemes to maintain proper records identifying each worker and amount contributed.

This is Sh16 million more than the Sh748 million reported in the accounts in the year to June 2015.

Auditor-General Edward Ouko who issued a qualified opinion on NSSF’s latest books of accounts suggested the figure could be higher if all files were examined.

“No explanation has been provided in the financial statements as to why the suspense account balance increased instead of reducing and mechanism to clear the balance,” said Mr Ouko.

The revised NSSF Act came into force in January 2014 and subjects the public scheme to rules stipulated by the Retirement Benefits Act and the industry regulator.

Retirement Benefits Authority had last year ordered NSSF to reconcile its records and avert possible plunder of the cash.

The regulator reckons some of the ghost contributors are casuals or those who temporarily lost their jobs or lack permanent addresses hence their accounts are not updated.